Tornado throws emotions, spiritual questions into a whirlwind

By May 10, 2011

USA (MNN) — Sources say the total losses from April tornadoes in the southeast region of the United States could be as much as $5.5 billion.

Lives have been lost, and others torn apart, by uncontrollably vicious winds. Many have lost what seems to be everything.

In quick response to the disaster, dozens of organizations, ministries, churches and volunteers have headed south to dole out basic aid and relief. Ironically though, Sues Hess with Biblica says even Christian groups that attempt holistic relief often fail to provide spiritual comfort.

"A lot of groups like to talk about doing holistic ministry, and yet the reality is: most of them kind of ignore the emotional, spiritual needs that surface following a disaster like this," says Hess. "And it's actually the emotional, spiritual needs that take the longest to heal."

Biblica is, however, addressing these serious needs. Although the ministry is not a relief organization, they have partnered with many who are, including Salvation Army and the Billy Graham Rapid Response Team, in order to address physical needs.

"What we do is come alongside our partners and help equip them with God's Word," explains Hess. "When people are facing a disaster, when their whole world is turned upside down, they need to know where they can find hope–where they can find comfort."

It's too soon to see the fruit of Biblica's distributed resources yet, but God has used them abundantly in the past.

After a similar disaster, a pastor was able to use Biblica's resources to develop an entire six-week preaching series addressing the surrounding emotional issues. As a result, families were able to heal and reconnect as they began talking about the emotions that had been weighing on them.

Another woman who had been running from Christ for 20 years gave her heart to the Lord after reading a Biblica booklet someone gave to her.

In a hyper-materialistic society where financial losses are deeply grieved, people are especially prone to reevaluate their lives when they lose the assets they once held so dear.

"When we can just exist day to day without really going deep at times, a disaster will take us to the deepest parts of our soul. It causes us to really evaluate where our relationship is with God, what we truly believe about God, and what values we are using when we go to rebuild our lives."

Biblica is excited to be a part of this rebuild process by offering several resources: "When Your World Changes" — a 30-day reading guide to help survivors through the process of grieving and healing; "The Survivors for Children" to help kids face five common post-crisis emotions; "Beside Quiet Water" to help survivors overcome anxiety; and Bibles.

These resources could be vital in pushing victims toward the Lord. None of these life-giving materials can be made available, however, without financial support. If you are looking for a way to get involved with this significant aspect of relief work, call 1-800-987-3595 or visit

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